imageProfessional fraternity man by day and roving entertainment reporter by night, Buck Cooke moved to Atlanta in 2000. Armed with a passion for pop culture and rabid appetite for music, Buck scours the entertainment landscape for treasures in music, TV and cinema.

Last week was a slow one when it came to new releases of music we might want to hear. But there was a must-have album from a jazz siren who is destined to become a big name, regardless of the genre of music she’s singing.

imageARTIST: Melody Gardot
TITLE: “My One and Only Thrill”

Melody Gardot’s sophomore album makes good on the promise of her debut (last year’s fantastic “Worrisome Heart”), but it also showcases her artistic growth. The result is one of the strongest releases from a female artist this year.

Gardot’s vocals are lovely and incredibly malleable. Whether the track is a bluesy jazz number (“Who Will Comfort Me”), an emotional love song (“Our Love is Easy”) or a somber, epic ballad (“My One and Only Thrill”), she sounds right at home on all of them. Gardot isn’t just a pretty voice, though; she penned the words and music for eight of the album’s tracks and co-wrote two more.

Gardot sounds like the female version of Michael Bublé, but there is an important difference: He sings standards while Gardot sings original compositions that sound like they could be standards (and probably will be, someday). “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is included, though, and Gardot delivers a mid-tempo, salsa-y take on the seminal Judy Garland hit.

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